Miguel Montero’s comments after the Chicago Cubs suffered a tough loss to the Washington Nationals has officially cost him a spot on the team. The Cubs have designated Montero for assignment (courtesy of ESPN) Wednesday afternoon. If an MLB team does not trade for Montero in 10 days, Montero would become a free agent.
The Cubs’ decision comes less than 24 hours after the veteran threw shots at the Cubs’ pitching staff.
Miguel Montero was credited for allowing the hitters of the Washington Nationals to steal seven bases. Four of those swipes were from Trea Turner. After the game, a feisty Montero held nothing back.
“That’s the reason they were running left and right today because they were slow to the plate. Simple as that. It’s a shame it’s my fault because I didn’t throw anyone out.”
Montero was especially highly critical of pitcher Jake Arrieta in the Cubs defeat. What Montero did not do was name Arrieta publicly, but it was clear who the catcher was referring to.
“It really sucked because the stolen bases go on me, but when you really look at it the pitcher doesn’t give me any time, so yeah, ‘Miggy can’t throw anyone out,’ but my pitchers don’t hold anyone on.”
The comments were deemed so controversial by the Chicago Cubs that they did not waste time in letting him go. There is even a possibility that Montero may have played his last MLB game for the foreseeable future.
One day after Miguel Montero publicly called out Jake Arrieta, he's designated for assignment. https://t.co/Ki6e23TEHP— SportsCenter (@SportsCenter) June 28, 2017
In calling out Jake Arrieta, Miguel Montero drew the ire of the Cubs’ front office, coaches, and players. This included Anthony Rizzo, who responded strongly to Montero’s postgame tirade.
According to CSN Chicago, Anthony Rizzo called into question Miguel Montero’s willingness to be a good teammate and that by throwing public criticism in Jake Arrieta’s way, made Montero appear selfish. There is some truth to Rizzo’s assessment.
Montero made a point to mention his personal statistics and how they have taken a dip this season. The former Cubs’ catcher had not thrown out a runner stealing a base in 31 attempts, prior to being designated for assignment.
Defensively, Montero ranks as one of the worst backup catchers in baseball. Whether or not the Cubs’ pitching staff is to blame remains to be seen. In fact, Montero and the Cubs’ pitchers share the responsibility of throwing out base runners. The Cubs do not stress too highly on holding runners on first base.
That is primarily because Wilson Contreras, who is the Cubs’ everyday starting catcher, has a strong arm and can throw out base-stealers. The Cubs have not adjusted to the differences between Contreras and Montero. As the backup catcher, Montero is supposed to have a keen awareness of each pitcher’s tendencies.
The now former Chicago Cubs catcher is looking for a new MLB team to play for after his comments dug deep. Surprisingly, Montero was unapologetic on his way out (courtesy of CBS Chicago) of the Cubs’ organization.
“Sometimes people can’t handle the truth. That’s my biggest issue. I’m just straightforward, man, a straight shooter. I’m not going to say you’re pretty when you’re ugly.”
The Chicago Cubs made their point loud and clear. Public comments like Miguel Montero’s will not be tolerated by the team. Things can be handled internally inside of the Cubs’ clubhouse, but if a player throws another under the bus to the media, they will receive their walking papers.
The Chicago Cubs delivered that message to backup catcher Miguel Montero after his controversial words regarding Jake Arrieta. Now that Montero is gone, the Cubs may galvanize the team and go on a winning streak.
[Featured Image by David Banks/Getty Images]